This programme is designed to enhance composers’ creative imagination and technical skills, and to develop their thinking about issues relating to the contexts of composition. It prepares them for the professional world of composition, and provides ideal training for those wishing to proceed to a research degree.
The compositions, publications and international activities of the electroacoustic specialists on the staff – Professor Denis Smalley and Dr Laurie Radford – give the Department a unique emphasis.
The annual series of electroacoustic music concerts provides a platform for our composers, and an opportunity for studying electroacoustic music performance.
Introductory sessions are provided on methods and techniques related to the studio facilities, and to the genres of composition to be pursued in individual composition tutorials. One-to-one tutorials on the composition portfolio and on the dissertation commence at the outset and are spread throughout the programme.
All students initially attend the ‘Research Methods’ lectures, together with (if desired) the lectures and seminars of the ‘Approaches to Music Studies’ module.
Prior to the Spring vacation, a series of MA presentation seminars is held, in which students present their dissertation work in progress for discussion by students and staff.
In addition, the Postgraduate Electroacoustic Music Discussion Group meets four times per semester, and MA electroacoustic composers are expected to attend. Presentation of student works is followed by discussion of aesthetic issues between MA composers, research composers and staff.
Teaching and assessment
Assessment is based on the submission of a portfolio of compositions (120 credits) and a dissertation of 8,000-10,000 words (60 credits). The portfolio should consist of electroacoustic compositions written during the period of study; the exact number and durations of works will depend on the genre and resources used. The dissertation is normally pursued in an area related to electroacoustic music.
As an alternative to the full portfolio of electroacoustic compositions, suitable students may pursue the module 'Performance Practice and Media Technologies' (30 credits) and submit a smaller composition portfolio (90 credits).